Instead of looking for Christmas trees, decorations and presents this holiday season, many area families are just trying to survive. A number are truly suffering, hit with loss of income, disease or a combination thereof. You can read about the most distressing cases in Empty Stocking Fund stories that run each day in The Chronicle until Christmas.
The Empty Stocking drive was started in 1930 by publisher William S. Morris Jr. who saw it as a way for the better-off among us to spread some Christmas cheer to the most needy of our neighbors.
Thanks to the generosity and kindness of innumerable people, companies and institutions down through the decades, thousands of stricken, impoverished families and their children have shared in the bounty of Christmas.
There has also been a steady increase of contributions through the years -- reaching a 1997 record of $83,186 which aided more than 5,700 individuals in over 1,000 families.
To help everyone get in a holiday "giving" frame of mind, the Fund will hold its seventh annual Christmas Concert featuring the Augusta Concert Band at 3 p.m. tomorrow at First Baptist Church of Augusta on Walton Way Extension. Some tickets may still be available at the last minute if there are "no-shows." Tickets are free, but an offering will be requested.
Large contributions are welcomed, of course, but none are too small. As the Christian apostle Paul reminded the citizens of ancient Corinth:
"And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."